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Pereskia aculeata (Barbados Gooseberry)


Scientific Name

Pereskia aculeata Mill.

Common Names

Barbados Gooseberry, Barbados Shrub, Leaf Cactus, Ora-Pro-Nobis


Cactus lucidus, Cactus pereskia, Pereskia foetens, Pereskia fragrans, Pereskia godseffiana, Pereskia longispina, Pereskia pereskia, Pereskia rubescens, Pereskia undulata

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Pereskioideae
Genus: Pereskia


Pereskia aculeata is a scrambling vine growing up to 33 feet (10 m) tall in trees, with stems up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) thick. Younger stems have hooked thorns and older stems have clusters of woody spines. The leaves are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide, simple, entire, and deciduous in the dry season. The strongly scented flowers are white, cream or pinkish, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and numerous, produced in panicles. The fruit is a rounded berry, translucent white to pink, yellow, orange or red, and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) in diameter.

How to Grow and Care

As with many cacti, Pereskias can be almost ignored and still flourish. One of the major advantages that succulents pose as houseplants is their ease, and overwatering or overfeeding them is a bigger danger than neglecting them because it can damage their roots. If you repot them, remember to leave them alone for a brief period so as to avoid overstressing them, and make sure to keep an eye out for common houseplant pests. Many of these cacti can’t really be grown as houseplants anyway due to their shrubby growth habit, and others are very rare, but when you do find out Pereskias can be good in cultivation…. – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Pereskia.


Native to tropical America.


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